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Special Report

More House Ethics Violations?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Paper Trail

Ohio Democrat Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who sits on the House ethics committee, took the very kind of trip that Democrats are attacking House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for, according to her own documents. Jones was part of what she says was a legitimate congressional delegation to Puerto Rico in 2001. But travel and financial disclosure forms, signed by Jones herself, say a Washington lobbying firm paid for the trip — in direct violation of house rules.

A spokeswoman for Jones tells the Washington Times that the documents are a mistake. She declined, however, to provide any evidence to support her claim.

Accuser's M.O.B. Ties

We told you earlier this week that Texas businesswoman Melody Townsell, who has accused prospective U.N. Ambassador John Bolton of chasing her through a Moscow Hotel 10 years ago "behaving like a madman," is a self-described liberal democrat and founder of the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposing Bush."

But you would never find that out from reading today's accounts of her charges against Bolton in some major media outlets. The Washington Post never mentions Townsell's partisan connections in its front-page story on the Bolton nomination. Neither do the AP, Reuters, or The Los Angeles Times.

L.A. Times Lawsuit?

Speaking of The L.A. Times, the paper could be facing a lawsuit from one of its own reporters, after his story on fraternity hazing was later found by the editors to be riddled with factual errors.

Times reporter Eric Slater wrote that one hazing victim was alone when he died, even though the District Attorney said that wasn't the case.

Slater also claimed that one fraternity pledge died of alcohol poisoning after a hazing incident. The student was merely hospitalized. What's more, the Times was unable to verify several quotations from the article. Slater has now been fired, but he blames excessive editing for the story's problems, and has hired a wrongful termination attorney to fight his dismissal.

Salazar Stands Firm

Freshman Colorado Senator Ken Salazar is standing by his Democratic colleagues in the fight to preserve the filibuster against judicial nominees. But during his campaign last year, Salazar told the Rocky Mountain News that he favored an up-or-down vote in the full Senate on judicial nominations. So what happened? Salazar says, "You come to the senate and you learn." He went on to say that what he meant during the campaign was that senate rules should not be broken.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report